UP NORTH AGAIN: More of Ontario’s Wilderness, from Ladybugs to the Pleiades
This book is very much a continuation of our first volume, Up North, published in 1993. Our original aim was to provide an eclectic guide to the plants, animals and other natural phenomena most commonly experienced outdoors in central Ontario. One of our most difficult tasks was selecting exactly what to profile in just 150 entries. Though we covered a good portion of the trees and mammals in the first book, there wasn’t room to include many of the Canadian Shield’s abundant birds, and space permitted only a small sampling of the region’s superb assortment of wild plants and flowers.
Up North Again seeks to fill in the picture. Apart from birds and plants, considerably more aquatic creatures, including some of Ontario’s legendary sport fish, are featured this time around. The Heavens section concentrates on the constellations of the autumn, winter and spring not covered by Up North. Most of the mammals, amphibians and snakes added here are as common as those in the first book, but less often seen or identified. A sprinkling of favourite creepy-crawlies is thrown in for good measure.
There are also completely new features in Up North Again. We have put together an almanac of the year’s cycles of migrations, mating seasons, bloomings and other natural phenomena as they unfold in central Ontario, and we have also included field checklists, kindly provided by the Federation of Ontario Naturalists, to note sightings of birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals. Included in the almanac and 121 entries on featured subjects is information on scores of other species. Their names appear in bold wherever mentioned at length in the main text. We strongly encourage using the index at the back of the book when searching for plants, animals or stars not appearing in the table of contents. The index also includes cross-references to Up North.
Like our first book, Up North Again deals primarily with Ontario’s mixed forest, southern Shield region, to about Temagami and Wawa, also taking in the Kawarthas, Manitoulin Island and the Bruce Peninsula. This is the “up north” for most of the province’s urban dwellers who, like ourselves, are drawn for revitalization to rocky hinterland lakes and forests. “Up north” is a state of mind as much as it is a geographic place. We’ve tried to reflect that spirit from the start, and thank the readers of Up North for encouraging us to think we achieved something of that sort, making this second book possible.